Sunday, November 19, 2006

Double Digits!

OK, first of all...

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How awesome was that game?!?! I missed Columbus so badly yesterday. I really wished I could have been there walking home drunk and happy from the Varsity Club.

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However, something even more amazing happened to me 9 mile run. Actually, it WAS a 9 mile run, that turned into a 10.7 mile run!!!! That's right people, I am officially in the double digits!

We had a 9 mile backwards run scheduled for 6am. The weather was in the LOW SIXTIES with low humidity and really windy. Mercy met me at my house and we drove out to Hobie Beach on Key Biscayne instead of our usual start in South Miami. It was a beautiful and much needed change of pace that got the group remotivated for training.

We started our run by going over the Rickenbacker Causeway and back.

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It was still nice and dark out while we ran it and the view of downtown Miami was beautiful. The bridge was a decent climb, but nothing we couldn't handle, especially since we were all adrenalized from the cool morning air. Having Mercy with me really helped the run fly by since we talked the whole entire way. We ran into Coconut Grove and back and felt so great when we hit the nine mile mark that we decided to run the bridge again. This sounded like a fantastic idea, until we were running back. It seemed a hell of a lot steeper after another 8 miles. Our time was slow as hell but I've decided not to even think about my times on Saturdays and just focus on the accomplishment of building my mileage. We ran it in 2:06:05 but that includes 4 water breaks and minute walk breaks every five minutes, so it really wasn't too bad. And to top it off, I wasn't even sore today.

So, other than that, just planning for Turkey week. We have lots of family coming into town and lots of running planned. I've got some training runs Monday and Tuesday, the 5k Trot on Thursday, and Jer and I are planning a 10 mile run Saturday at my parent's house. We'll see how easy it is with my 8mile/minute running marathon husband.

Friday, November 17, 2006

In the Mood for a Race

I found two upcoming running events to sign up for this week which makes me happy since my routine is getting a bit stale. Nothing gets me more motivated to kick it up a notch than signing up for an event.

First, I signed up for a 5k Turkey Trot on Thursday.

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I was going to sign up for my first 10K, but I figured I could just run a so-so 10k or try to improve on my disappointing Race For The Cure time. I think I need just a bit more training to run a 10k the way I would want to for a race.

Then there is the Nike Run Hit Remix on Miami Beach December 14th.

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It's a 5 mile run that starts at 8pm on the beach and has performances throughout the course from Digital Underground, Coolio, Vanilla Ice, Young MC, and De La Soul! Helllooo?!??! How freaking crazy is this? And, you get a free Dri Fit. It's all around awesomeness.

Anyway, my runs this week were a little slower since I have been feeling pretty tired and my legs feel like sand bags. However, unlike in August, at least the weather is cooperating so the runs and workouts are never all that bad.

Saturday - 7miles/1:23:53 group run with 11minute/5:1 pace
Sunday - Gym -Lift, 30 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes stepmill - (Really hard day)
Monday - Slept
Tuesday - 4.6 miles/47:52
Wednesday - 3.2 miles/31:52
Thursday - Gym -45 minutes elliptical
Friday -Slept (woo-hoo!)

So, tomorrow is a big day. I have my first 9 mile run, which is pretty exciting. We are also starting from a new location out by Key Biscayne and running over the huge bridge twice. It's someone's sneaky way to work hills into our flat Miami training. But it should be pretty nice. The sunrise over the water and downtown Miami as well as mild weather in low 60's should make the 9 miles a bit less intimidating.

I hope.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Run Like a Girl

I really want this shirt bad. Maybe Santa is reading this.
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It seems as though my seven mile run was no fluke and I really am a runner. Ever since that run, my confidence has been sky high and I am finally figuring out what style of running works best for me. I'm learning how I should pace, if and when I need walk breaks, that I NEED to use body glide, that dry fit socks and underwear really DO make a difference, that I need to keep hydrated the day before a long run and I need to eat a bar an hour before I run to keep up my energy. All the things I thought were a bunch of bullshit before seem to really be true. Imagine that.

My eight mile run was great. actually, it was even better than the seven. It was another humid, overcast day. But we kept a great pace and I felt really strong at the end. I also finally started talking to other people in the group since Mercy has had so many things going on and hasn't really been able to make it out anymore. It really was a great day. Another rockstar moment in running.

This week I kept up the same schedule as the week before, but changed my morning runs to 4.6 instead of the 3.22. I needed to break up the rut and start adding more mileage during the week. All my runs this week have been really good and I even broke through my ipod barrier after my shuffle broke this week (stupid ipods). I had this thing where I couldn't run by myself without music. But since I had no choice this week, I sucked it up and did it and it was great. It was actually quite relaxing first thing in the morning with just the birds chirping and my feet pounding. A good way to start the day. Anyway, my schedule was:

Sunday - Gym, Abs, stretch, Lift, 30 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes stepmill, level 7
Monday - Run, 4.58 - 46.49 minutes
Tuesday - Slept :)
Wednesday - Run, 4.58 - 47.09 minutes
Thursday - Gym, 30 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes stepmill, stretch
Friday - off

So, today we had another 7 mile run to give us a bit of a break. The weather was beautiful and other than my legs feeling a little heavy, I did great. Once I stretched, they were back to normal. I also invested in a knee strap.

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I look like a total dork, but whatever. This thing works! I felt my knee swelling after 2.5 miles, but it never got painful and I have been walking pain free all day today. It was totally worth me having to step to the side and adjust it every walk break because it was sliding down. That's what I get for having chickenlegs I guess.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Run

Finally, I know what it is like to truly feel like a runner.

Last Saturday I had my very first 7 mile run, the farthest I have ever attempted. And while I was a bit nervous at overcoming the mental block of my new distance I knew my legs could do it. My ankles have been much better in the past two weeks (not perfect but better) and my knee has been cooperating as well.

I don't know exactly what it was that made the run so much better than I had expected. The fact that Mercy couldn't come that morning bummed me out a bit, but may have ultimately helped me stay focused instead of talking the whole time. The weather stayed nice and dark for a long time and although it was extremely humid that morning, it was nice and breezy and rained a few Florida showers throughout the run (downpours that last 2-5 minutes then stop), which helped to cool us down. I also ate a Powerbar that morning which is something I never do, but for some reason thought I might need it. Now I know the importance of a little food to keep you energized before you run. Whether it was the Powerbar, the walkbreaks, the group dynamic or whatever, I finally experienced the kind of run that we all dream about. The kind of run where you can stop thinking about running and just enjoy the surroundings. The kind of run where you wonder what you were bitching about all those other times. The kind of run where you wonder how many more half-marathons you will have time to train for this year.

I have often had dreams in the past that I was running at night, in the dark and felt like I could run forever; this run was the closest I have ever come to experiencing that feeling. It started out dark and breezy and after about mile 2 I finally felt tired, but it passed after about one minute. I stuck myself behind one of the guys in our group and just stayed there until I got my pace under control. The walk breaks, water stops and slower pace than I run alone really made a huge difference and three miles into the run, I lead the pack of runners with two other girls the entire way back. When I was done I knew I could have easily run at least two more miles. I felt like a rockstar. I felt like a runner.

Tomorrow morning is my next long run, 8 miles. Ha! Let's hope last week wasn't a fluke.

Anyway, I got a few other decent workouts in this week:
Sunday - Gym- Weight Training, 45 minutes Elliptical, 15 minutes Stepmill
Monday - Run - 3.22 miles - 33.25
Tuesday - Slept :)
Wednesday - Run - 3.22 miles - 31.31
Thursday - Gym - 30 minutes Elliptical, 15 minutes Stepmill
Friday - Slept :)

But the cooler weather really needs to come back. It's November for the love of God.

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